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Conservatives Are Blasting ESPN’s Decision To Hire Keith Olbermann

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Not everyone is happy with ESPN's decision to expand Keith Olbermann's role. The former SportsCenter anchor has been doing pieces for the flagship show since January. Today, ESPN announced that he'll be taking on a bigger role across the network.

Olbermann is in his sixth stint at ESPN. He is one of the network's legendary old school SportsCenter hosts. From 2013-15, he hosted an ESPN2 show called Olbermann.

In between sports-focused jobs, however, Olbermann has served as a liberal commentator. From 2003-2011, he was the host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which moved to Current TV for a year after his contract wasn't renewed.

After Olbermann on ESPN2 ended, he took a job with GQ. There, he hosted a pretty vehemently anti-Donald Trump show called The Resistance.

Keith Olbermann has never been shy about his politics, and with this most recent news, conservatives on Twitter are once again bashing ESPN.

The Worldwide Leader has caught plenty of flak for having a perceived "left wing bias." Expanding Olbermann's role once again has only inflamed that.

Now, it doesn't sound like Olbermann is being brought on to discuss politics in any large way, at least nothing outside the normal discussions that are on ESPN already. Here is what his role will entail, according to the company's announcement:

SportsCenter: He will continue to develop regular features on timely and historical topics (he has been doing SportsCenter pieces since January such as the Jordan/LeBron debate and how the sports world responded to MLK’s assassination). Olbermann will also guest anchor approximately 20 special editions of the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter throughout the year.

MLB: Olbermann will take on select studio and game assignments, including play-by-play for a few games as well as a handful of studio hosting responsibilities on Baseball Tonight and cut-ins/highlights within game telecasts. Additionally, he will be on site at the MLB All-Star Game, hosting segments for SportsCenter. He will also host SportsCenter segments during the MLB post-season, including the World Series.

Additional studio shows: As he has done in recent weeks, Olbermann will co-host a handful of editions of PTI and will make guest appearances on Outside the Lines with host Bob Ley. A couple recent examples include Olbermann on PTI & Olbermann on OTL.

ESPN Audio: Olbermann is expected to make appearances as both a guest host and a call-in guest on various ESPN Audio programs.

The timing is interesting, especially given recent pieces about the network. Just yesterday, a Wall Street Journalarticle featured another ESPN legend—Outside The Line's Bob Ley—approaching former president John Skipper about an "imbalance" within the company.

But the amount and intensity of political expression generated sharp internal disagreements over whether ESPN was appropriately taking part in the broader national conversation, or whether top executives were encouraging a divisive company culture and giving too much leeway to hosts to promote left-leaning views, both on air and on social media.

Well before Ms. Hill’s tweet controversy, network icon Bob Ley had approached Mr. Skipper to say “there was a problem with balance internally,” people familiar with the matter said. Reached for comment, Mr. Ley said Mr. Skipper “was always extremely receptive.”

Even with new leadership, it has long seemed like Olbermann will always have a place with the network if he wants it. This seems to be the latest iteration of that.